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Labor Government slashes bikie taskforce budget by a third amid fears officers will be moved on

Exterior photo of a possible bikie clubhouse at Chinderah with no signage. Picture: David Clark.


THE budget for Queensland’s bikie gang fighters has been slashed by a third as the State Government refuses to guarantee more resources.


Opposition Leader Tim Nicholls last night said the cutbacks to Taskforce Maxima and the planned watering down of the VLAD laws meant Labor was sending officers on the street with “their hands tied behind their backs”.

The Bulletin had been told Maxima staff were concerned about transfers from the Coast and figures from the Opposition confirmed their fears.

Maxima’s fulltime equivalent staff count dropped from 104 in 2014-15 to 95 in 2015-16.

Police Minister Bill Byrne would only say the FTE count for 2016-17 and 2017-18 would be subject to “operational requirements” and “the constant assessment of the threats, risk and harm posed” by bikies.

Queensland Police Minister Bill Byrne says any increase in Taskforce Maxima staff numbers will be guided by “operational requirements”. Photo: Regi Varghese.

The allocated budget for the taskforce of $2.1 million in 2014-15 had been slashed to $664,000 in 2015-16.

An extra $800,000 was provided for organised crime and fighting the ice drug plague, bringing the total budget to $1.64 million. But government sources confirmed the figures showed the blending of budgets across police departments, which had weakened the taskforce’s role of policing bikies.

“The ice strategy should sit squarely with the drug squad,” the political source said.


“State Crime’s overall budget has been shrunk and there is a massive shrinkage in Maxima and they’ve blended them.”


Mr Nicholls said the “soft-on-crime Labor Government” was stripping resources from one of Queensland’s most effective units.

“In the past 12 months alone, Taskforce Maxima has taken more than $38 million worth of drugs off Queensland streets, seized more than $15 million in cash and assets and shut down the criminal gangs that had taken hold of the Gold Coast,” he said.


State Opposition leader Tim Nicholls says Labor is soft on bikies. Picture: Anna Rogers.

Mr Byrne said Taskforce Maxima did not have an approved strength and the unit reported now through State Crime Command. “It’s nonsense to talk about specific taskforce numbers at a particular point in time,” he said. “It is naive and reflects a lack of understanding of contemporary policing practices and the combined might of police resources.”

The Police Minister said that the Palaszczuk Government had committed an additional $20 million over four years to the police service to target serious organised crime, including child exploitation, boiler room fraud, drug trafficking and outlaw motorcycle gangs.